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Join God in His Work

In my journey of faith one of the most meaningful books that I’ve read was Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby. In the book, Blackaby tries to help his readers to identify where God is working and how to join Him in his work. Blackaby affirms that, “My Father is always at his work to this very day (John 5:17).” But how do we know where God is working?
Blackaby says, “In Romans 3:10-12, Paul reminds us that because of the effect of sin none of us on our own is righteous or understands God’s ways or seeks after God.” This means that when we encounter someone who is asking spiritual questions or seeking after God, we can be confident that God is actively working in that persons’ life. Once we identify where God is working, that becomes our invitation to join God in His redemptive work.
I got to witness the truth of these statements recently in the person of Irving Jamerson. Mr. Jamerson is 89 years old and he and his wife Anne have been members at Bethel for many years and both have been home bound for some time now. I received a call from Mr. Jamerson’s daughter Sandra and she explained that Mr. Jamerson had been watching Sunday Services on television. He’d been asking a lot of questions about the Lord and he mentioned to Sandra that he would like to be baptized because he couldn’t remember if he’d been baptized. Sandra asked if I’d come over and baptize him.
I was delighted to go because I believed the Lord was working in Mr. Jamerson’s life because he’d been asking questions about the Lord. That was my invitation to join God in His work and I can testify that anytime you join God in His work you will be blessed. After I arrived for the baptism Mr. Jamerson and I talked about the meaning of baptism and he affirmed he had indeed given his life to the Lord. I shared with him that baptism is like a wedding ring, it’s an outward symbol of an inward promise that we make to the Lord. Baptism is a public confession that we belong to God.
After we chatted we placed a towel around Mr. Jamerson’s neck and then I placed water on his head three times, baptizing him in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I was blessed to participate in this sacred moment and it was in the sacredness of this moment that I thought of Christ’s baptism. When Christ’s cousin John pulled Jesus from the waters of the Jordan the voice of the Lord thundered from heaven, “This is my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased.”
Writer and priest Henri Nouwen says that, “Yes, there is that voice, the voice that speaks from above and from within and that whispers softly or declares loudly: You are my Beloved.” At our baptisms God says to us that we are chosen by Him, we belong to Him and we are beloved by Him. This is not only a solid foundation from which we can build our lives, but it is a gateway for how we relate to others.
Just as God has invited us to work with him, we are called to invite others into a life changing relationship with the Lord. Henri Nouwen says,
“When we claim and constantly reclaim the truth of being the chosen ones, we soon discover within ourselves a deep desire to reveal to others their own chosenness. Instead of making us feel that we are better, more precious or valuable than others, our awareness of being chosen opens our eyes to the chosenness of others. That is the great joy of being chosen: the discovery that others are chosen as well. In the house of God there are many mansions. There is a place for everyone – a unique, special place. Once we deeply trust that we ourselves are precious in God’s eyes, we are able to recognize the preciousness of others and their unique places in God’s heart.”
As we celebrate Easter this year let us think about our identity in Christ. Our identity in Christ gives us a firm foundation for our lives. I believe God wants us to build upon the following truths: God seeks us. God chooses us. God claims us as the beloved of God. Let us think deeply about these ideas and then let us invite others to build their lives upon these truths as well. I thank the Lord for the good work he is doing in Irving Jamerson’s life. All glory to God and thanks be to God! May God bless Irving and Anne Jamerson and their family and may God bless you and our Bethel Church Family. Amen!

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